Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Odds Bodkin, Storyteller and So Much More!

The first time I heard Odds Bodkins spin his musical web of story and song we had simply stumbled upon him in a bookstore somewhere in New Hampshire. It was one of those now nearly extinct places, not a chain but a place where you can get lost in the packed isles of books, many hard to find, some dusty, some crisp, all mixed in a heady array, enticing you to get lost for hours, browsing then spending much more than you should on much more than you will ever have time to read...

My son, still just a toddler, was mesmerized from the moment we walked in by the unexpected voices and sounds. Odds sat on the floor, surrounded by children, playing unfamiliar instruments, creating voices, music and tales, seemingly from some another time, some other place.

I walked around the store while my husband and son sat in the circle. The atmosphere was so transformed, I thought we had stepped through a porthole or fallen into a community dream.

I came home with every tape available from Odds at the time. My children have grown up listening Odds' stories and surrendering to the spells cast by his music and his myriad of voices. Warm summer nights, twilight and breezes through the window, a young child falling off to sleep, dream-walking with Little Proto, chasing the Tea Cup Fairy, matching wits with the Czar and the Wise Little Girl. Even today, my son, now 15, turns off his lights and listens before he falls asleep to Odds "telling" no, performing, solo, the epic tale of the Odyssey.

If you have never listened to any of Odds Bodkin's Storytelling audio recordings, you are really missing something.

My family has gown up on this wonderful collection of stories, songs, history and art. There is something in his repertoire for every age, though all ages in our house love all his work.

It is a dream of mine to someday get him down here to give one of his workshops to our homeschooling community.
And a concert, open to all the kids young and old in our region?

Check out his website to get a taste:


Who is Odds Bodkins?
(from his website)

Odds Bodkin’s character-voice and music-filled storytelling style has been mesmerizing listeners, young and old, for twenty-four years. The New York Times dubbed him "a consummate storyteller" while TIMEOUT New York writes, "Master Storyteller Odds Bodkin is the talk of the town with his remarkable one-man Art of the Tale." His most recent recording, The Harper and The King: The Story of Young David won the Parent’s Choice Gold Award, The Dove Family Foundation Award and the Storytelling World Award.

A graduate of Duke University, Mr. Bodkin taught storytelling and imagination for seven years at Antioch New England Graduate School while pursuing a full-time career as a children’s author and musical storyteller. He has been a featured teller at The National Storytelling Festival, performed twice at The White House, and at schools, universities, museums and theaters across America. He has told stories and conducted workshops as far afield as Bangkok, Thailand and Great Britain.

Perkins Panda, a special product for children born blind and their families created with Perkins School for the Blind, features three original Odds Bodkin children’s books, three audio’s, and a Gund Panda toy.

His all-original music on 12string guitars, Celtic harp, grand piano and other instruments makes his collection of stories resemble pieces of musical theater as much as storytelling. His seventeen award-winning audio recordings range from original dino-musicals for young children (his multiple-award winning Little Proto Trilogy) through an eclectic collection of international folktales, fairytales, and comic tall tales. His audios have won the Golden Headset Award, Parents’ Choice Gold and Silver Awards, two Indie Awards, the Storytelling World Award and many others. His four children’s picture books are published by Harcourt, Houghton-Mifflin and Little, Brown publishers and have won The Pick of the Lists, Booklist Editors’ Choice, The Storytelling World Award and the New York Public Library’s 100 Best Titles for Reading and Sharing, among others.

His renowned epic tellings -- The Odyssey (four hours long) and -- The Rage of Hercules -- have earned him a national reputation, in --Billboard’s words, as "a modern-day Orpheus."

His popular website, oddsbodkin.com, features an online store offering Bodkin’s books, CD’s and MP3 downloads, an occasional blog, and other features.